Rishi Sunak is seemingly proud to have cancelled the only real nation building project Britain has had for decades. Instead, the money will be spent on sticking-plaster solutions to existing infrastructure, without any business case or overarching strategy. The reason? It all got too expensive. The other reason, Mr Sunak obviously thinks it’s a vote winner and he is well behind in the polls. This week Phil asks what’s happened to the £25 billion that has already been spent. The answer, of course, is that it has been pumped into the broader economy, aiding economic growth well before anyone enjoys the benefits of the completed project. There’s discussion about why public sector investment doesn’t need to undergo the rigorous cost-benefit analyses of private projects and why the UK is so bad at delivering large scale engineering projects. Will we see any visionary engineering feats again in our lifetime?
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